MANILA – With the positive results of the clinical study of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) where virgin coconut oil (VCO) was found to be an adjunct supplement that helps prevent the symptoms of COVID-19 from becoming severe, the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) is hopeful to see increased VCO production and domestic consumption.
This was confirmed by DOST Secretary Fortunato dela Peña on December 3 during a virtual press conference held regarding the results of the DOST-led study, “The Effects of Virgin Coconut Oil among Suspect and Probable Cases of COVID-19,” which involved 57 study participants from Santa Rosa Community Hospital (SRCH) and Santa Rosa Community Isolation Unit (SRCIU) in Laguna.
In 2019, VCO export sales of the Philippines was at 21,416MT while domestic sales was only at 470MT. For this, PCA Administrator Benjamin Madrigal Jr. lamented that, “Despite the fact that VCO has long been known for its anti-viral, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial property and many other health benefits, it is a sad truth that only 2% of our produce is locally consumed while 98% goes to export market.”
“Since the publication of Dr. Fabian M. Dayrit’s study on the potential of coconut oil and its derivatives as effective and safe antiviral agents against COVID-19, we have intensified our promotion of the health and wellness benefits of VCO,” Madrigal said. PCA is also looking into developing a seal of quality for VCO to assure consumers that the VCO they are buying are safe, legitimate, and of good quality.
“We are excited to have more collaboration with the DOST and the Department of Health (DOH) in conducting further studies on the health and wellness benefits of VCO. We are also exploring other opportunities for innovation to further the growth and development of our VCO industry,” Madrigal added. ###